tv [untitled] December 6, 2012 3:00am-3:30am PST
>> our organization just had a grant to partner with the department of justice to make films on exactly those kinds of things. we're going to be making a film on working with school resource officers and how to work with students. we don't believe we should even call anyone a bully because once you get labeled it stays with you. i've gotten letters saying there's a bully in my kid's first grade. the statistics show that about a third of the kids are bullied and bully others. as one kid said, i wanted to man up and show i wasn't going to be bullied so i did it to anyone else. breaking that cycle is going to be exciting and it's exciting to hear that restoretive justice isn't just on the fringe, that whole school districts are taking them on. it's going to be a process to do that because part
of the anti-bullying movement is you go online, you see stomp out the bully, get the bully. it's important we all kind of take a stand on that. we all need to learn how to treat each other and change our behaviors. >> thanks, becky, unfortunately that is in in terms of questions because i hate to be the person to stand between you and lunch. we will take about a 20-minute break, you should all be back in your seats by about 12.20, if you can all join me in thanking our fantastic panelists. (lunch break) i have the distinct privilege of introducing my friend ed lee.
mayor lae was elected on november 8, 2011, after serving with distinction as the interim mayor filling the vacancy created by mayor newsom's ascension to lieutenant governor. as mayor he has been a champion of fiscal responsibility during challenging economic times. his focus on steadfast on balancing the budget, reforming city pensions and working hard on economic development and job retention. he is making city government more responsive and efficient and making public safety a top priority. mayor lee is a long time public servant. prior to becoming mayor, he served as city administrator where he focused on government efficiency and measures and reforms that reduced the size and cost of government. mayor lee first began working for the city and
county of san francisco in 1989 as the investigator for the city's first whistle blower program. prior to employment with the city and county of san francisco, he was the managing attorney for the asian law caucus. i first met ed in 1992 when he became the executive director for the human rights commission and we were both 16. that's two decades ago, ed. i watched him soon become the director of city purchasing and then going on to become the director of public works. i think ed is the only mayor in city history that can carry tlau on the campaign promise to fill the potholes because he actually knows how and he's the only mayor in city history that can say he actually knows every single city street because his crews probably paved them. i have had the privilege of working alongside ed for many years in city government. he has always been a cherished colleague and friend to everyone in city hall. he's
done the job, he gets the job done, never wanting credit, just the satisfaction of doing the right thing for the people he serves in the city and county of san francisco. i was thinking about the introduction of mayor ed lee lastity and we'll taking the time to think about ed as mayor and ed as leader. i've been lucky to know every single mayor in san francisco since my birth and mayor lee is quickly taking his place among the very best. i've seen ed grow into the mayor's role with great ease and aplomb and there's no surprise there. mayor lee is focusing on young people and guiding a rebust economic rebirth in san francisco. his interest in young people is quite genuine and he meets regularly with middle school principals, focusing on critical years for kids to stay engage the in school. recognizing that mayors can
have tremendous impact in their communities, he co-sponsored the legislation to eradicate bullying from schools at the 2012 con conference of mayors. he is here today to address us on the vexing issue of bullying. it is my pleasure to introduce the mayor of san francisco, ed lee. . >> thank you, ann, for that wonderful introduction and i don't know where you got the ease of coming to the mayor's ofrs, there was no ease on that. ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining together here at the presidio with all the different agencies. i see phil ginsburg, i know bill is around, others from our da
office, richard caranza and others from the women's status as well and the district attorneys from the various counties, the school administrators and instructors and superintendents from other counties as well, as well as our community-based agencies that are so invaluable it all of us. this is a very important topic and it's one that our u.s. attorney, melinda hague and i helped spearhead yesterday with 800 students who came together who watch an incredible film by lee hirsch i've heard the wonderful reports from the kids, seen their laughter and their tears. we are going to honor your making that film by doing what we need to do to
stop bullying across the country. because the data shared by our u.s. attorney, representatives from the department of education confirm if we don't do anything about it, 13 million kids will become victims again for another year. some 3 million kids across the country will decide it is better to leave their school grounds than to continue their education. there will be more stupblting of the emotional and educational growth of our kids. all across the bay, whether working here in san francisco or alameda or sonoma or santa clara county. i want to thank you law enforcement officials here, instructors, community advocates, people who are concerned about our kids, they are our future and i would love to see a new generation of kids
who don't know what bully is, who are not victims, who don't have those scars. but we've got to do today is sharing in the best practices, to be encouraged by programs like our roof top school here in san francisco who has traded a 50-person ambassador class that will talk about this, that will invite other kids, school administrators who have received the support of our school site administrators to encourage them to get this out and talk about it and to create an alternative or to help other students or to educate others stop the practices or to interpret what bullying is. a lot of us didn't know what that was. now if you allow generations to think there's no consequence, bullying becomes harassment, harassment becomes physical with scars and then
you've got, i hate to say the word, but you have gangs of kids who don't know the difference. that's what we naed to educate ourselves on. as i've said and if i have identified all the different players, it does take a village to raise our kids. it does require us to understand not only what happens in the classroom, what happens on the school grounds, what happens in programs that we all cherish so much on and off our school sites, it's online and it's off-line that we also have to concern ourselves with. it is with kids that have both parents and kids without the parents at home that it's happening. we need to embrace a full court program on this because the numbers tell us and dictate to us that we have to have this high level strong fierce collaboration to end bullying and to make sure it
doesn't proceed into its worst stages. and so i want to just thank everyone for this collaboration, i know our human rights commission, theresa, is here, i know commissioner is here as well and all of the bay area to work together to utilize the resources that our justice department is offering. their guidance and leadership as well, and to note that it can happen to any group. if you've heard what we're trying to do here, i know other mayors across this bay area are trying to do, we're trying to unleash the talent and creativeness of all of our communities not to succumb to things that will suppress that talent and in order to do that, you've got to really erase these barriers that are created sometimes by our own ignorance and sometimes by what people think are playful things and yet they are very, very hurtful and they become worse and worse.
so that's what lee hirsch's film was really all about. he's taken 5 families and he's documented it and yesterday over 3,000 of our students had a chance to view and many of them i think cried because they know it's happening in their own school site. and just because we get a label sometimes in san francisco that we're progressive or that we know better, it's happening also on our own turf to unacceptable levels. i wanted it share with you i'll be doing my part, i'll be doing more than my part. i've indicated to melinda and certainly ann marie and her coordination of this, we will be on the forefront with our school district and our administrators and our commissions to work together with the bay area to end this, to talk about it and expose it and to continue really carrying out a promise that we have made
as leaders in our very dynamic bay area. we will not tolerate intolerance and we will expose it, get rid of it, and we will educate our kids, the next generation who will hopefully inherit a better world. we've got to set those conditions for that to happen. this is why i am so appreciative of so many of the different levels of law enforcement, education and nonprofits to come together and share the practices, share what we can do, and then do what's right, continue and support those programs that will help us. so, with that, i am very fortunate and glad to share this with you and be part of this afternoon's great conversation and thank you again for all of your commitments. i appreciate it very much.
(applause). >> mr. mayor, thank you so much, thank you for showing up two days in a row. i want to thank you for your commitment to lead -- what a tremendous responsibility. my goodness, you have the whole san francisco unified school district involved here. mr. caranza said that's it. i had a chance to see your movie yesterday. i want another show of hands because we have some new people here, who has seen bully? oh, okay, the afternoon crowd did much better. good. so lee hirsch is producer, director, he spent an enormous amount of time in the lives of our 5 families. he is going to be our speaker today. our other guest is roslyn wiseman. those of you who are parents have probably read her
books. queen bee, queen bee wannabes, she has something else coming out that i'm probably not allowed it talk about yet, something to do with boys coming up. but i want to get started because our time is short. lee, first of all, tell us about bully, please, what was your inspiration for that. >> sure, we kind of met before, we definitely wanted to make our session a little more relaxed and so what we'll try and throw it out to questions pretty soon and have a bit of a free style banter amongst ourselves. but bully basically began as a, like most independent film makers, a dream, how can i possibly make this film, be able to capture bullying and give it a home, if you will, in something as durable and impactful as a documentary or a film.
it very much grew from my own experiences of having been bullied as a kid and feeling like or taking the memory of how hard it was to communicate what was happening, to find agreement or adults or even to get my parents to advocate on my behalf and feeling that if i could tie my own experience to what perhaps happens around the country that there was something very powerful there and that there was also a collective need for this film. so that was really the beginning of it was how do we do this? what would make it meaningful. and in many ways we were really sometimes i think the streepgt of the film has much less to do with me as a film maker but with the intense and deep philosophy
that the stories carry and that all the stories really of kids that are being bullied and families that are struggling, they all have that philosophy. so i think by just turning the lens and giving voice it those kids gave the film its heart. >> and its power. he told me he saw me tweeting -- i have to tweet for work. he said, i want you to put that down. step away from your phone and be in the moment. live in this movie. and i did and it's haunting to me. i'm glad you told me that. i'm really glad you did what you did. i hope everybody who didn't get to see it, gets to see it. roslyn, your booking are amazing. i know they have been read by hundreds of thousands of people. what was your inspiration. >> my work, i've been working with schools around the country, i've been doing it
about 20 years. i started out actually teaching self-defense to girls. what was striking to me was i was not going to the root causes why kids were getting into situations or losing their voice. i created a course called speaking up then decided to write a book because i thought i was working with girls a lot, people didn't seem to understand, they wanted to talk about issues of girls but they didn't understand or weren't thinking about the larger consequences of how girls were interacting with each other. i was working with boys in equal numbers to girls, i have always continued to do that, but i wrote queen bees and wanna-be's to show the unwritten rules, what could we do to be more credible and competent in the lives of girls. that is what i do. in fact, when lee came to me about 3 or
4 years ago, we were at a party, a mutual friend's birthday party, i know a lot of people do work pretty similar to ours, people come to you and say i want to do this bullying thing. i probably get an email a day today from 12 to 14-year-old kid saying they are doing a music video about bullying, right? >> which is awesome. >> i'm not saying it's not awesome. so lee came up to me at a party and said i'm doing this thing, i'm doing this bullying documentary, i want to get into the schools. i remember him saying, i'm going to get into the school. i remember saying it myself, yeah, right, there is no way. i'll see you when you get it. i'll look at it when you get it. and he actually got it. i got the video to preview, the documentary to preview, and what he was doing was showing
the things that i see a little blip of in the schools that i work in, but i know as soon as i walk out the door it's way worse for a lot of kids and a lot of administrators and he was showing how adults are complicity, sometimes realizing it and sometimes not, we are implicit in sometimes our own incompetence of this issue. we must, if we are going to be credible to young people coming forward to report these issues, then we'd better know what we're doing and we better be competent and look like to these kids that it is worth the risk, the leap of faith, to come to us. one of the things we have a hard time doing as adults is owning our own questions, our own uncertainties, owning when we don't do it right. as a teacher one of the things i've always thought, because i love, love being a teacher, you are sitting with a classroom of 25 kids and you're not doing it
right, you know. and i don't like being the teacher, i'm sure -- i don't like being the teacher in the room with kids looking at me with that look on their face. i hate that look. i don't like that look. i am not going to sit in a room with a group of kids for 48 minutes or an hour and 10 minutes and not be a good teacher. and if i'm not a good teacher, what i need to do is ask them why. i don't think that's giving up or sacrificing my authority to do that, i actually think that is a display of my authority, to say i am somebody who is a teacher, an educator, i care enough to want to know am i doing this right for you and if not, why not. i thought what lee was able to do was show some of the things that have been so frustrating to me in the 20 years i've been working on this issue. teachers who say, apologize, when you know the kid is not
apologizing sincerely, when a teacher or principal says i know what it feels like because i have children. well, don't tell that to somebody else. that's not a pass, basically, that you know what it's like to be in a parent's shoes who has a kid that's being tortured when they go to school. there are phenomenal teachers and administratorors and i thought by showing lee's film we could really show the discomfort that we have. one of the things about this film i think is worth highlighting, i have kids, i have said things to them that as soon as they left my mouth i wished i could take back. you see in lee's film parents sometimes not doing the right thing and being angry and being angry with their kids and saying things that exacerbate the problem. that's why when i thought the film i thought i have to be
able to support this whichever way i can. >> roslyn, what do you do when your parents think you are telling them way too much. >> i get the super anxious parent. >> could you give us an example? >> if i understand your question correctly, one of the things i think we as educators in whatever way possible, in whatever capacity, that when it's your own children that your initial reaction, when it's happening to you, even if it's your field of expertise, like when it happens to me, i have definitely gotten the phone calls from the principal and it's not been what angels my children are. they have often been bullied. they've been on both sides of it. i think one of the things that's important is two things. one is that when it's your own children your anxiety is going to hijack your higher thinking
sometimes for a while and you must have people that are advocates and colleagues of yours to help you think it through. the second thing, to be very specific, i think teachers when a parent comes to them trying to, they are reporting a bullying problem, there's a couple things i believe teachers and administrators should never say. here's top three. really? i've never heard of that happening before. now, they honestly could never have seen that happening before or with that child so it comes across obviously in a totally different context. the other is what we have, and you see it in these films, we have a zero tolerance for bullying here which i think is really extraordinary because it makes the administrator look incompetent when they say that. they don't mean to but i don't think you should say that. the other part is, oh, right, i'm sure the child didn't mean
it that way. because really what we see, and we saw it in the morning, these things when they come down to it, is about who the child is, their race, their ethnicity, their sexual orientation. it really is against common sense that you would speak for someone else's experiences and assume when you don't know i think what it really is in that moment is that we are uncomfortable with racism, we are uncomfortable with homophobia and talking about it. and we don't want to step in and deal with it in the moment because we're uncomfortable. i think we are deeply uncomfortable dealing with racism and homophobia and all those isms and that's what comes out of our mouth. >> the parents who are mad at
the kids for not doing something about being victimized, so were some of the administrators, well, i reported this, i interviewed them. what do you say to that? you really focus on that. >> yeah, i think inherent in what -- the movie is all about what happens, like the minutia, the nitty-gritty. there's a scene in the movie, we'll show a clip but i would say for those of you that have seen the movie, the most explosive scene in the film is a conversation between two students and the assistant principal in this school where they emerge from recess and there's clearly some conflict that's going on and she says, whoa, whoa, what's going on here? the two start telling their own stories and, you know, she basically says,
you go away to the one person that was a witness, then she proceeds to have the two students shake hands. and it becomes a very uncomfortable exchange where the boy who has been the target, the victim of bullying, doesn't want to shake the hand of his bully and doesn't want to just let it go. then she basically gets angry and drills into this kid, right? she dismisses the bully and she starts saying if you don't shake his hand you are just like him. and it just carries on but our audiences start screaming at the screen. i mean they are just, like, oh or ugh, it just makes them crazy. and i find that so extraordinary because as a film maker, someone that watches a lot of scenes, there's a lot
of, you know, stories will go through big effort to get that kind of response. you will see, like, someone's house blown up and people are like, oh, or someone's sexually assaulted and people are, like, eh. yet this little moment is so incredibly stirring to our audience. and it's that thing, that little thing that happens, you know, over and over in little ways that take away the dignity of students that everyone can relate to and it's, in a way i always feel, it's why i feel so bad ultimately for kim lockwood, who is the administrator in the film in this scene because, like, it's not like she's done this like insanely awful thing. she just got it ron and rushed to judge and said shake hands
and everything will be okay and didn't take into account the history of those two students and didn't put the pieces together that the boy that didn't want to shake hands was someone that had been victimized and bullied over and over and over again. and then you see that happen. so i would say that in our film these little moments, like what ros said about things that come out of your mouth with your kids, you are, like, oh, no. these are the things, this is actually where the rubber meeting the road a little bit and it's the hardest stuff. we screened in sioux city before anyone had seen the movie for all the administrators in the movie. obviously we've been down a long road with this community and i will make a point thanking them for their courage in making this film, which is what you thought nobody would ever do, which is allow a camera to film for a year
inside a building and film those interactions and those conversations. but they did it because they wanted to do better. but when we first did the screening, someone that had been an administrator for many many years basically said, listen, if we're going to be honest in unpacking this movie, then we have to recognize and i'll be the first one to say it, that i have made those mistakes. i have rushed to judge. i have gotten it wrong in exactly that same way many times in my career. then suddenly the conversation started to flow and not only did people connect to how they missed those moments and that they don't, that they felt they didn't have the training to catch those moments or really do that inner reflection, but then they started sharing their stories of being bullied in their life and why they got into education and suddenly everyone was crying. it's a